Back to School teaching ideas (part I) Introductions in Spanish

Summer vacation is coming to an end and that means we teachers have to go back to work. I want to share with you some teaching ideas that will work great during the first days of school... 

The next activity has worked reallly well for me to do introductions with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. It is based on the ¿Cómo te llamas? song and video (if you are not familiar with the song  it will be helpful to listen to it before continuing reading) I am sure it would work great with upper grades and also with second graders but I have not try it with them.

This is what I do,

1. I write the lyrics of the song on the board and go over meaning and pronuntiation with them.

2. We listen to the song one time without singing along just listening and reading the lyrics.

3. We listen to the song again but this time I encourage students to sing along.

4. We listen to the song again but a little different this time: The answer part during the third loop of the song is like a karaokee so I ask for a voluntier to answer to the questions during the last loop. All students sing along the whole song and during the last loop all students ask the questions but only the voluntier answers with his/her personal information trying to keep the tune of the song)

5. Now without listening to the song again I ask for more voluntiers (2 or 3 more) This time we just sing the last loop of the song by ourselves (we all ask the questions and one student answers.) 

6. By now all students know how to ask and answer the questions so I have students walk around the class to ask the questions to different students. I normally give them 3 or 4 minutes and they have to ask at least 4 or 5 people in the class.

The next day (you can actually do this also the first day you do the activity) I write the questions and asnwers on the board again. We repeat point number 5  (see above) to introduce 2 or 3 new students. (Below is how the board would look)

¿Cómo te llamas?

Me llamo_________

¿Cuántos años tienes?

Tengo ______ años.

¿De dónde eres?

Soy de __________

¿Dónde vives?

Vivo en ____________

Now I tell them to focus only on the answers of the questions above to make introductions by just filling the blanks with their information (all talking not writing yet) I introduce myself as a sample:

Hola, me llamo César tengo treinta y siete años soy de España y vivo en San Francisco. ¡Adiós!

I ask for voluntiers and I have 4 or 5 students introduce themselves to the class this way. Then I have students wondering around the class for 3 or 4 minutes introducing themselves to 4 or 5 students (make sure from the first days to encourage students to interact with ALL students in the class and not to gravitate towards the very same 3 or 4 friends everytime you do activities like this. You can encourage this by giving extra credits to students that interact with different students each time)

Students get bored easily so I normally introduce 3 or 4 students a day to prevent students get bore and keep the excitment up. Once students know the dinamics of both activities  it only take a few minutes to do it so I repeat the activity for a few days untill all students that want to introduce themselves this way have a chance to do it. I don't like to force students to do an activity in front of the class if they don't want to specially at the beginning of the school year. Since the activities covers basic but very important questions and it only takes a few minutes to do it I repeat it once every month or two as a review.

I hope you find these activities useful. Next week I will write another post with more teaching ideas so don't forget to visit us right here!

I wish you a very succesful school year!












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